This book is meant for Module 2 – Collaboration and Professional Locations PHO740 22/23 Part-Time Study Block S1.
A cat is sitting in the doorway, watching me carefully. I feel like he is guarding the threshold between the outside and the inside, the past and the future, the known and unknown. He stares at me with insistence, making me question if I am ready to understand the world that is about to unfold before my eyes and to capture in images the emotions that arise from within. I hold his gaze and follow the little girl whose house I now enter. She extends her hand and interlinks our fingers, nodding in approval and smiling.
The yellow door fully opens, and I walk inside welcomed by her mother. I have a sense of deja-vu when I go to Dobrogea. It’s been a part of my personal history ever since my family, like so many others, sought refuge in the sun-kissed lands of south-eastern Romania.
It’s the same all-encompassing emotion I feel now, taking in the hallway before me – cluttered with brightly colored shoes and slippers. It takes a lot of trust to be invited inside the house, especially in these Turkish homes that value privacy. I’ve been taking pictures in these villages before and have met the children and their parents. But only now I step into their homes, and the atmosphere feels more intimate than I had imagined.
The dignified, and somewhat careless, personalities in the homesteads pop up from the vividly coloured and textured wall coverings, and yet the girls’ personalities are nowhere to be found. The houses that I visit are different, but they lack a sense of individuality. The
spaces in which these girls live collide, and their stories become one. I catch my own reflection in the mirror, the two girls dressed in red flanking me.
Decades ago, my former self would have been indistinguishable from the girls I talk to now. It is my own story that guided me here, into their multicolored world. Trying to reveal layers of meaning, I speak my own connection to them into existence, and, therefore, to this place. The threshold between past and present is gone.
Leaving the house, I see the cat looking indifferently out the window, he has nothing else to convey to me. I am on my own, forced to face my own emotions. I do not fear. I say my goodbyes and close the door on the girls, on my old me.